All of sebastiankosch's Comments + Replies

Reward Is Not Enough

I found myself struggling a bit to really wrap my mind around your phasic dopamine post, and the concrete examples in here helped me get a much clearer understanding. So thank you for sharing them!

Do you have a sense of how these very basic, low-level instances of reward-based learning (birds learning to sing, campers learning to avoid huge spiders, etc.) map to more complex behaviours, particularly in the context of human social interaction? For instance, would it be reasonable to associate psychological "parts", to borrow from Internal Family Systems terminology, with spaghetti towers of submodules that each have their own reward signal (or perhaps some of them might share particular types of reward signals)?

3Steven Byrnes4moThanks! My current working theory of human social interactions does not involve multiple reward signals. Instead it's a bunch of rules like "If you're in state X, and you empathetically simulate someone in state Y, then send reward R and switch to state Z". See my post "Little glimpses of empathy" as the foundation of social emotions [] . These rules would be implemented in the hypothalamus and/or brainstem. (Plus some involvement from brainstem sensory-processing circuits that can run hardcoded classifiers that return information about things like whether a person is present right now, and maybe some aspects of their tone of voice and facial expressions, etc. Then those data can also be inputs to the "bunch of rules".) I haven't thought it through in any level of detail or read the literature (except superficially). Maybe ask me again in a few months… :-)